Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter

The Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter is a monthly publication that focuses on the provision of refugee legal aid. It is aimed primarily to be a resource for legal aid providers in the Global South where law journals and other resources are hard to access. It complements the information portal
The newsletter follows recent developments in the interpretation of refugee law; case law precedents from different constituencies; reports and helpful resources for refugee legal aid providers; and stories of struggle and success in refugee legal aid work.

Country of origin and legal news

GHANA: 11,000 Liberian refugees in Ghana to lose status on 1 July 2012 through Cessation Clause
KENYA: Xenophobia and marginalisation of Somalis in Kenya on the rise; Tens of thousands flee violence in Northern Kenya; US urges Kenya not to refoule Somali refugees; Despite widespread intolerance, Kenya becomes a destination for regional LGBTI people seeking protection; Barbaric witch-hunts continue
LIBERIA: Liberian president releases an open letter to refugees in anticipation of the Cessation Clause
MALI: Tens of thousands flee fighting in Mali between Malian authorities and the Tuareg
MAURITANIA: EUR2,000,000 EU-funded West Sahelproject launched to secure Mauritanias borders
SOUTH AFRICA: High Court rules the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to close Refugee Reception Centerunlawfuland orders its reopening; Appeals court upholds refugee entitlement to 14-day leeway period in order to claim asylum upon entering South Africa, after challenge by Department of Home Affairs; Three-month-old child deported, without mother, to Zimbabwe
UGANDA: No freedom of assembly as Minister shuts down LGBTI rights meeting; 2009 ‘Anti-Homosexuality' Bill re-tabled in Parliament; Critical journalists come under increasing attack as media freedom shrinks
ZAMBIA: UNHCR urges Zambia and Angola to conclude refugee talks in order to implement Cessation Clause and strip Angolans of refugee status; UNHCR Zambia deniesforcing Rwandans to return through invocation of Cessation Clause
ZIMBABWE: Government threatens to deport group of DRC refugees

CANADA:  Number of Roma refugees from Hungary seeking asylum increases; Canadian detention and deportation practices receive criticism
USA: Retiree establishes Eritrean refugee support network; US court considers gang-related asylum claims under ‘particular social group’ grounds; Over 13,000 people kept in immigration detention with no charges, while ‘authorities sort out their fates’; Department of Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status for nationals of El Salvador; Court rejects governments attempt to bar non-citizens from seeking to reopen their cases from abroad

AUSTRALIA: Nearly 5,000 detained asylum seekers face serious mental health risks
INDONESIA: Authorities arrest 96 asylum seekers rescued from capsized boat on the way to Australia
JAPAN: Japanese authorities respond to criticism by lessening time asylum seeker spends in detention
MALAYSIA: Saudi journalist refouled while in transit to New Zealand, risks death penalty
PAKISTAN: Hazara community lives in fear of discrimination, harassment and killings
SRI LANKA: Torture victim seeking judicial remedies kidnapped
UZBEKISTAN: After ‘brutal’ raids on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes, three people jailed for 15 days, four others fined

BELARUS: Religious communities threatened and harassed for holding worship meetings
BOSNIA: Fifteen Afghan migrants, mostly minors, detained by Bosnian police en route to Germany, police say they will be sent back to Serbia
BULGARIA: Refugee lawyer states access to asylum in Bulgaria is arbitrary
CYPRUS: Human rights NGO Executive Director being prosecuted
FRANCE: European Court condemns lack of suspensive appeal in French asylum procedure
GREECE: Greece begins building border fence to block immigration; Greek border guard found guilty of torturing a migrant under his supervision
IRELAND: Irish Refugee Council launches Independent Law Centre; Algerian asylum seeker released fromindefinite detention
KAZAKHSTAN: New law bans 579 small religious communities
NETHERLANDS: Government outlines integration criteria to be followed when considering refugees for resettlement
NORWAY: 400 Ethiopians to be returned under repatriation scheme; Thousands of paperlessindividuals in Norway are denied basic human rights
SWEDEN: Government expels Rwandan diplomat/head of intelligence amid reports of intimidation and harassment of Sweden’s Rwandan community
SWITZERLAND: Official announces ‘radical new approaches’ need to be taken in Swiss response to asylum seekers, including the development of a specific body charged only with removing failed asylum seekers
TURKMENISTAN: Over 200 prisoners of conscience freed, others remain in detention
UK: Torture victims being held in detention due tounsuitableprocess; Home Office pays over GBP1,000,000 in compensation to over 40 children asylum seekers who were wrongly detained in adult units; UK sees upsurge in Egyptian asylum seekers
UKRAINE: Growing concerns over detention regime; Human Rights Watch calls on Ukranian authorities to stop harrassing Somali aslyum seekers

EGYPT: Authorities deport 26 Eritreans caught trying to flee to Israel; Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights condemns collective punishment of Coptic citizens, blaming ‘legal cover’ provided by Egyptian ruling forces; Africans abducted by Bedouin gangs in the Sinai gain international press, but the kidnappings and torture continue; Egyptian regime cracks down on celebrity activist for defaming Islam
IRAN: Man who converted to Christianity and became a pastor sentenced to death; Prison facilities notorious for cruel and prolonged torture of political opponents of the government; Iranian failed asylum seekers can be prosecuted formaking up accounts of alleged persecution
IRAQ: Camp AshrafIranian refugees begin transfer as part of US-Iraqi resettlement deal after criticism of the plan; 30 Syrian army defectors granted refugee status in Iraqi Kurdistan
ISRAEL: Furthering its anti-refugee push, Israel will refoule South Sudanese refugees in April, despite Human Rights Watch report of continued conflict
JORDAN: First refugee camp opens for Syrians in collaboration with UNHCR
KUWAIT: Around 150 protesters facing trial for demonstrating against statelessness, Human Rights Watch Middle East director states government haslittle respectfor stateless people
LEBANON: Syrian refugees do not feel safe in Lebanon, worry the Syrian government can still find them; Lebanese troops deploy to the border with Syria onSyrian orders
LIBYA: Scores killed in ethnic clashes; Interior Minister asks EU to assist in renovating migrant detention centres
SAUDI ARABIA: Ethiopian Christians arrested for 'illicit mingling' at private prayer meeting
SYRIA: Children as young as 13 being tortured; Syrian government asks Lebanon to arrest refugees loyal to the Free Syrian Army
YEMEN: Somalis killed attempting to cross from Yemen into Saudi Arabia

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